Our new Mayor Bob Filner has pledged to focus more on the neighborhoods of San Diego and less on the power brokers who hide out in the corridors of City Hall. And new City Council President Todd Gloria also has promised to make infrastructure “sexy”.
So, in order to assist Mayor Filner and Councilman Gloria in helping to decide what infrastructure is needed in Ocean Beach, we thought we’d provide a list for Santa.
Here’s what Ocean Beach needs for Christmas (for starters):
1. New Library
Back in 2003 Ocean Beach was promised a new library – one where the original historic building would be included in a two-story facility. Drawings were made, models were built, presentations were made to the OB Planning Board – which I was on at the time – , and the building next door was purchased by the City of San Diego – all in preparation for a brand, new library.
Then the pension crisis hit, the recession receded all our needs and wants – and a new library for OB withered on the vine. No one has spoken of it since. Until now. We know that the current library just had a new roof, a new rug, and a new paint job – but that is not what OB was promised a decade ago. OB needs anew library – the current one is crowded, insufficient and inadequate for such a pedestrian and intellectual community as OB.
2. New Lifeguard Station
Yes, the lifeguard station at the foot of Santa Monica Avenue did just get a new paint job. But the facility needs to be demolished and a brand new one built. The current one was constructed a half century ago – yup, about 50 years ago, and such a highly-used center for our life guards – needed first responders – is way overdue for replacement.
La Jolla just got a new lifeguard station; Pacific Beach just got a new lifeguard station … and OB got … a new public restroom at the foot of Brighton – yes, state of the art – but not a new station.
In fact, we need a new lifeguard station for our living lifeguards more than we need a bronze memorial to the past. Both would be nice – and we’ll probably get the statute a lot sooner than a new station – but the station is what OB needs – now.
3. New Public Restrooms near Newport Avenue
OB desperately needs new public restrooms near the hub of the village: Abbott and Newport. The current public commodes are very inadequate – more than that – they are smelly, wet, stinky, awful, a challenge just to enter, with no where to sit and change your clothes. They are attached to the lifeguard station which is 5 decades or so old. It’s just not a healthy place.
It’s a crying shame that residents and tourists alike do not have anywhere better to go than what we presently have. Yeah, OB just was built a state-of-the-art restroom, er, “comfort station” over at the foot of Brighton at the beach – but that facility is too far to be considered for the center of town.
Right now, OB has the best public restroom at the beach – the new one – and the very worst public restroom at the beach. In fact, we’ll give out a T-shirt to anyone who can find a worst public restroom at a San Diego beach.
It’s actually an insult to direct tourists to this filthy hole. Why aren’t the merchants clamoring for a new restroom for their customers and the guests? Well, there have been efforts by the OB Town Council to upgrade the facility but nothing has happened yet and we cannot say enough bad things about it.